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Pockknockery Arena


A sort of steam-powered iron tractor is used at least once a day to smooth the surface of the circular ice rink where the drama of professional pockknockery plays out on the edge of the peak of Halagh. The rink is bordered on the west and east by bleachers carved in the black rock of the mountain. An iron wall has been erected along the north arc of the rink to protect players against the very real prospect of toppling off the mountain.
It is a absolutely freezing night. The air is stagnant, not stirring with the slightest breeze.

A solitary skater, Hal'gill, races about the arena this evening. He wears his full pockknockery equipment, his pocknocker gripped in his hands, and he has a small contented smile on his face as he exercises.

Hal'beron steps into the arena, his equipment readied and his grey eyes sweep the cold interiors of the arena, locating Gill and stepping towards him with a smile.

Hal'gill turns at his brother's arrival, and his smile blossoms into a full grin as he changes his direction to approach him. "Beron! There you are...couldn't find you so I left without you," the younger sibling laughs.

Stepping in from outside is Hal'odan, walking with an air of curiousity as he carries an array of well, freshly crafted pockknocker gear over his shoulder. He notices the two familiar Halaghi here, nodding to them both as he walks over to one of the benches to suit up.

Hal'beron chuckles as he bends down to secure his bladeloshes before walking out onto the ice rink, "I was grabbing some trition slabs, you hungry?" before returning Dan's nod with a quick smile.

The scowling, grizzled pockknockery veteran, Hal'gretz, stomps into the arena and walks down a snowdrifted aisle between some bleachers of fused organic material - the cheap seats, not like the nice stone seats on the sides - and wanders toward the edge of the rink, in the vicinity of the bench boxes. He ducks briefly into the watcher's box, stands on the edge of the deep shaft burrowed into the mountain and then checks the sturdiness of the rope dangling from the wood cylinder stretched across the box. Apparently, penalized players are dangled while they await a return to the ice. Once he's satisfied, he emerges from the box, closes the door, then meanders to the rink and glares at the rookies. "You slobs think you can manage better this time?!"

Hal'gill turns his attention to Gretz and he grins at the coach, holding up his stick. "Just tell me what to hit," he laughs, elbowing his brother.

Hal'beron grins in reply to Gill, and continues his reply with a smirk, "And when of course. We're all set since this morning!."

Hal'odan rises to his feet, or blades, to be more accurate, once his primary gear is set into his place. He leaves his hugger, turb, and regular loshes on the bench afterward, moving off along the ice torward Hal'gretz and the others.

"Hal'odan!" the coach shouts unnecessarily, spewing spittle that turns to ice chips before it scritches on the rink floor. "Get in front of that catchery and get ready! Beron, you're the watcher! Gill, you get three shots on goal! Then you switch and Beron gets three shots on goal! If Hal'odan misses any ..." He jerks a thumb toward the box with the deep shaft. "He goes in the pit for a while."

Hal'gill glances to the box in question for a moment before chuckling and turning about, grin fixed in place as he skates to center ice.

Hal'beron picks up a pock by the side and chuckles towards his brother, "Enjoy, Gill." as he skates out to the center as well, waiting for Dan to join them.

Hal'odan scowls darkly at the mention of the pit, staring at Gretz for a long while before grumbling and skating off torward the catchery, pockknocker held tight in hand as he mutters aloud, "Now I remember why I wanted to be a facture."

Hal'gill waits for the pock to be dropped, lowering his pockknocker blade down to the ice in a ready position.

Hal'gretz moves to sit on one of the cheap fused organic benches to watch, snarl and scratch himself.

Hal'beron smiles as he sees everyone get into position, "Eyes sharp!" he shouts as he throws the pock onto the ice, starting play as he skates back from the thrown pock.

Hal'odan settles in a defensive position infront of the catchery, knees bent as his bladeloshes settle into place, eyes affixed on the pock.

Off Hal'gill goes, bursting into motion as the pock strikes the ice. He scoops it along, bearing down upon the catchery and Hal'odan, eyes searching for any weakness in his defenses. He makes a decision and winds up to let fly.

Hal'beron skates along with his advancing brother, his pockknocker held in his hand as he watches carefully the attack.

In a breathtaking spectacle, Hal'gill manages to fly a very strong, very well-aimed pock torward the catchery. Despite this monumental effort, the pockstopper, Hal'odan, manages an even more speedy and effective block, reacting fluidly as the Halaghi moves the pockknocker swiftly to block its mark, slapping the offending object away with brute force.

Hal'gretz grunts. He nods approvingly and shouts: "That didn't make my ass blow fire!"

Hal'gill whistles in appreciation of the stop, and his grin widens as he skates after the errant pock to retrieve and return it to center ice. He pauses again back at center ice and waits for the next goahead.

Hal'beron smiles towards Dan as he watches the spectacular save and picks up the pock before returning to center ice, "Brother, you'd have to try harder!" as he throws down the pock at Gill again.

Hal'odan seems quite proud of the previous block, grin quickly settling on his face as he settles in to a defensive stance once more. He doesn't get arrogant, however, tensing up just as much as before as he watches the pock.

Hal'gill pauses to laugh at his brothers words before moving in with the pock again. He weaves in errantly at the catchery, moving the pock from one side to the other, and then snapping his wrist in a simple wrist shot once close.

Hal'beron follows his brother again on the assault, watching the assault with curious eyes.

And another, but definitely less spectacular, show of skill emits between the two pockknocker players. Hal'gill is speedy, and the shot is strong, but Hal'odan's matching speed and strength manages to deflect the pock off of the edge of his pockknocker, just managing it.

"That's a strong sense of self preservitization at work right there!" the coach bellows.

Hal'gill's grin from his enjoyment of the situation is plastered on his face as he raises his stick in salute at the block, turning about to return to center ice to set up for his last run.

Hal'beron chuckles as well towards Gill, "Gill, buck up, you'd need better than that to be able to get past Dan now, he's obviously been practising!" as he picks up the pock and throws it down for Gill again at center ice.

Hal'odan's position remains steady infront of the catchery, obviously determined to prove his worth by atleast getting one player completely shut out. His eyes fill with intrepid hope as he stares at the pock.

Gill nods his head to his brother and raps his stick against the ice a few times before pushing forward again, his grin somehow gaining a bit of an edge to it. He pauses his advance as he draws closer, and winds up on the swing, intending to just punch it into the catchery.

This time, the game is even more on Hal'odan's side as Hal'gill sends an admirable shot off torward the catchery. Unfortunately for him, Hal'odan responds instantly, and his pockknocker lands with a resounding *smack* on the ice as the pock is stopped solidly in its place on the ice. Hal'odan grins widely as he sends the pock over to Hal'beron.

Hal'gretz nods. "Good work," the coach growls. "Switch!"

Hal'beron chuckles at Dan, "Wow, you must have been totally motivated to improve this fast, Dan!" as he picks up the pock and hands it to Gill, "It's my turn now, let's see if I fare any better." as he skates back to center ice.

Hal'gill laughs and waves at Hal'odan. "Let's hope you avoid those hooks. They don't look too comfortable at all. Keep up on that." He accepts the pock from his brother and returns to the center.

"Let's hope," Hal'odan says aloud, smile on his face as he returns to his spot at the catchery. "If I do, I'll very much consider a change in position."

Hal'gill drops the pock for his brother. "Right-o, here we go," he laughs, skating off to the side to watch from an advantagous spot.

Hal'beron sees the pock landing on the floor and skates up more cautiously than is usual, looking ahead to see if there is any weakpoint in the waterproof defense Dan has put up. He closes on the catchery and decides to try for the far corner and strikes the pock hard with his pockknocker!

Hal'beron manages the shot, but, Hal'odan surges into action at about the same time. His speed is far greater, as he moves by in a near-blur, already set to receive the pock long before it arrives before he releases a mighty blow of his pockknocker to send the pock far down the ice.

Hal'gretz grunts. "Not bad."

"Good smack!" Hal'gill calls, skating backwards to center ice again and fishing out another pock. "Show me how it's done, Brother," he adds to Beron, grinning at him.

Hal'beron wrinkles his nose at Gill, skating back to center ice, "I will try... I can't find the weakpoint in the defense yet." as he adjusts his grip on his pockknocker, "I am ready."

"Must be a lucky night," Hal'odan replies to Hal'beron, grin on his face as he keeps a careful stance before the catchery, not allowing himself to be overly optimistic.

Hal'gill drops the pock into play again after everyone is all set to go again. "Shot two!" he announces, quite unnecessarily.

Hal'beron skates forth this time, more confident and more speedy, catching the pock with his pockknocker, driving it forward with remarkable speed. He leans forward as he scrutinizes Dan's position, suddenly tilting to his right to fire a shot towards the near corner of the catchery at very fast speed.

Hal'odan has apparently been knocked off guard, moving speedily but not fast enough for Hal'beron's excellent shot. It gets by before Hal'odan even has the chance to block.

Hal'gretz sighs, gets to his feet, clenches his jaw and narrows his eyes as he glowers in Hal'odan's direction. "Right! I told you that if you stopped *six* shots on goal, you could put your little knocker to work again. Now, I ain't big with figures, but it seems to me, by my count, you stopped *four*!" He glances toward the waiting abyss of the box, then grumps as his attention drifts back to Hal'beron. "Think I should put him in the box or call it six out of seven or he gets the box?"

Hal'gill skates back to center ice, pulling out another pock from somewhere on his person. (Probably best not to think about where). His grin wavers a bit as he looks to his brother, awaiting his response on Dan's fate.

Hal'beron watches the pock closely as Gill starts the play. He returns a smile to Gill, "We'd better go get some of those too!" as he skates off, pockknocker driving the pock forward with grace, he tries a feint this time, starting to veer off towards the right, but he actually sends the pock straight ahead before he veers off, smacking it hard on the ice floor with the pockknocker.

Hal'beron grins towards Gretz, before shouting back his reply, "Dan should get another chance, six out of seven will be suit just fine! He's been wonderful all night, I was just lucky with the last one. And your... therapy is obviously working!" he skates back towards the center ice.

"Better than my previous of zero!" Hal'odan calls in agreement to Hal'beron, grumbling as Hal'gretz stands and makes his opinion known.

"Better than zero *ain't* the six I ordered, kid," Gretz growls back. But he nods to Beron. "Proceed."

"You're still making me look bad," Hal'gill chuckles to his brother as he drops the pock onto the ice again. "Here goes!"

Hal'beron smiles towards Gill, throwing a quip at him, "Isn't any use scoring against our own Catcher, it's scoring against the opponents that count!" as he skates forward again right down towards the catchery, deciding to help Dan see if there's a weakpoint at the near corner. He suddenly veers left this time and swings back his pockknocker to shoot off a shot at the near corner again.

The pock flies strongly and accurately at it's target, but Hal'odan manages to make up for his lack of quick notice of the event for the speed to which he seeks to halt it. He slides swiftly off torward the pock, the l-shaped pockknocker falling down triumphantly before the incoming disc, showing that his defense is still strong in that area. Hal'odan breathes a sigh of relief after this, hitting the pock back to Hal'beron before settling back into defense.

"Great shot and well saved," Hal'gill shouts, watching the pock slide back to Hal'beron and skating in front to scoop it up before it reaches him. "But another one coming." He grins and returns to center ice, tossing the pock up in the air and catching it.

Hal'gretz settles back onto his bench. Chews on his lower lip for a brief moment, then spits on the icy floor.

Hal'beron watches the pock sail towards the near corner and is then halted in its flight. He smiles towards Dan, "Nice save, Dan!" as he skates back to center ice.

Hal'odan nods to Hal'beron, grin on his face as he prepares for the final shot, making all attempts to ensure this one does not miss as he watches Hal'beron's pockknocker and pock.

"He must have been drinking that tea," Hal'gill nods his head. "Will fix you right up and put you on top of your game." He glances to Dan and Beron before starting the play.

Hal'beron watches the pock closely as Gill starts the play. He returns a smile to Gill, "We'd better go get some of those too!" as he skates off, pockknocker driving the pock forward with grace, he tries a feint this time, starting to veer off towards the right, but he actually sends the pock straight ahead before he veers off, smacking it hard on the ice floor with the pockknocker.

Though not spectacular, this shot goes steadily off to Hal'beron's intended place...but Hal'odan makes a good showing as he slips by and in for the block, short and simply executed with none of the previous finery.

"And there it is," Hal'gill snickers and skates over to clap Hal'odan on the shoulder. "Nice job there, stopper. Must have busted your ass with practicing." He grins at him and waves, moving to return to his brother.

"All right," Hal'gretz snarls, getting to his feet once more. "That's six." He nods to the three pockknockery players. "Well challenged." His eyes fix on Hal'odan. "And well stopped, with one notable exception." He growls, "You're not perfect, but you're not goat ploppings. We get another couple of players for this team with some talent and we might just be ready to take on one of the other lesser teams." He tilts his head, laces his fingers together and says, "Go on, all of you. Celebrate." He grins ferally at Hal'odan. "And the lock's off your little knocker, son, so do with it what you will. For now." He waves a hand toward the city.

Hal'beron chuckles as he too skates over to Dan, "Great, you'd been terrific, Dan! Let's go for a drink!"

"As I said," Hal'odan declares proudly, grinning to Hal'gill. "I was just unused to the act, now, I am. Maybe this 'team' will go somewhere," speculates the pockstopper, looking over to Hal'beron and chuckling knowingly. "I'm afraid not, friend. As the coach said, I have some catching up to do. Maybe later," he answers, sliding on the ice off torward the bench.

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